Eel trap found in Western Springs – but it’s not allowed, says council

Press Release – Auckland Council
Auckland Council is reminding residents that eeling is not allowed in public parks following the recent discovery of an eel trap in Western Springs.

Western Springs Lakeside Park, also known by its customary Maori name, Te Wai Orea ‘Waters of the Eel’, is a historically significant place where eels flourished before European settlers arrived. The lake is home to both native eel species, the shortfin (Anguilla australis) and longfin (Anguilla dieffenbachii), along with several other species of fish and birds.

Local and Sports Park Manager, Mark Bowater, says eeling and trapping eels in our parks is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“We must protect our native flora and fauna, especially these eel species which have cultural and historical significance.

“Our eels mature into adults in freshwater lakes and streams, and migrate to the sea to breed. Most take 20-30 years to mature, but some females are over 80 years old before they travel through available waterways and across damp ground to the sea,” he says.

All forms of fishing, other than the use of small hand-held nets by children for educational purposes, are not permitted in Western Springs Lakeside Park.

In addition, under council’s bylaw and the Reserves Act, it is illegal to kill or injure any animal in a public place or take or willfully destroy any animal.

If you do come across an eel trap, or see people eeling in public parks, please contact Auckland Council on 09 301 0101.

• The attached photographs show the eel trap in situ at Western Springs and after it had been removed.

Eel trap_Western Springs Mar13

Eel trap removed_Western Springs Mar13


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